JFK Unsilenced Shows Consultancies Can Marry Creative And Data

Data and creativity can go hand in hand together, and we now have an amazing example to prove it. If you do one thing today, listen to JFK Unsilenced -- a campaign for The Times created by Accenture in Ireland (formerly Rothco).

I can guarantee you will have your socks blown off by how accurately the researchers have managed to recreate the former President's voice to allow him to give the speech he would have made at the Dallas Trade Mart on November 23rd 1963, had he not been assassinated. I can also assure you many of the words will ring true about today's politics as he warns against those who "confuse rhetoric with reality." Remind you of anyone?

Apart from being one of the most compelling audio campaigns you are likely to come across this year, albeit presented in video form, the work is worth for picking out for showing what can happen when creativity and data meet. Mediatel makes the point that by the work winning the top award for Creative Data, it became the real talking point of Cannes.

Sure, there was a lot of noise around whatever Sorrell had to say and about Omnicom's success, but actually, the real pointer for the future was that a consultancy won a creative award. What's more, it was a creative award that fused data with creative.

I don't know about you, but I've always been highly sceptical of the endless tirade of opinion articles and conference speeches that talk about how data can inform creativity. Obviously data, in the form of feedback and responses, can reveal which creative approaches have worked the best. Otherwise, though, I've always been left a little cold by arguments that try to take the point further.

A good example comes today with the BBC claiming it is using AI tech from IBM to listen in to the various courts at Wimbledon so it can tell if something major has happened and its editors can then know those moments should be added to the highlights programme. Every year we have some new piece of tech that is apparently being used to bring us the action from Wimbledon but I'm also pretty suspicious it's a PR exercise for IBM.

Sure, lots of great tech goes into the coverage, but the pressure to announce something new every year means you could bet AI would be being used for something this year. If it's a big moment, however, surely we have commentators that are there and able to let the guys in the studio know a seed is about to get knocked out. Do we need AI for that?

JFK Unsilenced is different, however. When the data actually becomes the creative, or at least allows it to be formed, then we are entering a really interesting phase of digital marketing. 

The fact that this has been done by a consultancy -- Accenture Interactive in Ireland -- for The Times not only underscores how data and creative can go hand in hand -- it is a warning shot across the bows of the holding companies that consultancies just might be the best place to make this happen. 

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